Smeatharpe Stadium - Tuesday 19th June 2018

There once was a time when midweek racing in the summer season was part of the staple diet of southwest oval racing, but now it is a rare treat and it was most certainly just that at Smeatharpe Stadium on June 19 with a fantastic show from the BriSCA F2 Stock Cars in a World Championship qualifying round, National Micro Bangers and the annual visit for the BriSCA Heritage Stock Cars, on the second leg of their westcountry tour.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars

Given that there was just a sprinkling of visiting drivers from outside of the southwest, the 46 car entry of BriSCA F2 Stock Cars was very pleasing, and with rounds ticking down it is starting to get to the crunch end of the World qualifying phase.  It was a messy start to the first heat with an early yellow flag for 111 Lewis Geach and then a tardy re-start which saw more cars eliminated.  When the race did get going 315 Justin Fisher ran out the winner.  Heat two also featured a yellow flag when 544 James Rogers, the race leader, spun and was collected.  935 Nathan Maidment took over after the restart and went on to win.  An unusually top-heavy consolation came down to a battle of the top men and 676 Neil Hooper held off 127 Matt Stoneman for the win.  The annual A1 Windows and Doors Trophy saw the full 30 car field grid, at least initially.  With so many yellow and blue graded drivers on the grid, it looked inevitable that they would trip over each other early and such was the case.  As the green dropped, 667 Tommy Farrell encountered a gearbox problem and 302 Dale Moon failed to start.  That disrupted the blue grade, and amongst the chaos 979 Paul Moss spun across the track in a tangle with Maidment and the 979 car was then collected by 460 Matt Weston long after the yellow flags had been called for.  It wasn’t only these two missing for the re-start but six others too.  The complete re-run didn’t go for too much further with 526 Marc Rowe stranded across the back straight, but this time it was enough for it to be a yellow flag.  The first half of the race featured a great battle for the lead between 528 Shane Hector and 689 Joe Marquand, but as they swapped and changed places they only hindered each other’s progress if anything and they were caught and passed by 722 John Broatch, although he was already under pressure from Hooper by then.  Hooper moved into the lead just as the race went into the second half, but he could far from cruise to victory as Stoneman took great strides over the closing laps to be just shy of being able to land a last bend lunge at the finish.  So, it was Hooper’s win from Stoneman and 542 Steve Gilbert.  The Grand National was another exciting encounter under the Smeatharpe floodlights and another good yellow top battle at the front, this time it was 828 Julian Coombes who took a rare win, in another battle with Marquand to round out another simply superb show from the F2’s.

National Micro Bangers

The National Bangers in Micro form were in a round of their National Series and produced a good entry of cars considering the week night meeting for them.  It got off to a lively start when 2 Jack Hodges rolled on the pits bend and then the complete re-run didn’t go for much further, as 151 Sam Hodder did just the same.  However, Sam received a hand injury that necessitated a trip to hospital.  The next re-start then didn’t go all the way either, this time 747 Bradley Dee took a couple of heavy hits.  A feature of the race was the annihilation of 77 Aaron Charles by several, including 451 Nigel Belfield, and it was 190 Steve Bailey who took the win.  There was another rollover in heat two, this time 642 Nigel Thomas inverted and late on in the race there was a no-holds barred jacking train on turns one and two with 868 Stuart Parish, 838 Jamie Peters, 45 Anthony Croshaw, 133 Terry Hill, 842 Jack Perkins and lastly 162 Brett Ellacott all piling in.  No issues for Bailey though as he claimed win number two.  With such heavy action in the heats, it was no surprise to see a smaller grid for the Final which saw Bailey complete his hat-trick, tracked by Ellacott all the way in second with initial leader 451 Nigel Belfield making third.  A heavy DD featured some big hits, but culminated in 760 Ryan Pike getting sandwiched between Bailey and Ellacott which resulted in his car catching fire.  Marshalls quickly descended on the blaze, and Croshaw gallantly assisted in getting Pike out of the car.  Thankfully Pike was all ok, and with Ellacott the only one left running after this he was declared the winner.

Heritage Junior Stock Cars

With the Heritage entry exceeding expectations, a request was made by their drivers association for a change in format and a two from three heat schedule was deployed.  The first heat looked for a long time as if it was heading to guest driver 213 Ian Govier, but he was caught, passed and then spun on the last corner as 253 Alan Humphrey took the chequered flag.  The second heat was punctuated by a back straight tangle involving two ex-F2 drivers, 198 Alan Nicholson and 2 Alan Bunter.  The race had an even closer finish that the opening heat, with 347 Ian Johnson getting caught by 306 Neil Truran on the last lap and they, along with 728 Graham Bunter crossed the line in a blanket finish.  47 Giles Carter came through to win heat three.  It was not to be two Finals in a week for Truran, as he got caught up with Govier early in the Final and there was also a tangle up for Graham Bunter and 311 Granville Wright.  886 Brian Owen and 271 Wayne Helliwell emerged as the leaders and swapped positions, until Owen spun which left Helliwell clear to win.  It was the battle for second which was once again a great one with 763 Andy Bateman just getting there ahead of 616 Darren Clarke.

BriSCA F2 Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 315 689 302 468 740 578 783 418 245 325
Heat 2 935 895 528 328 890 745 613 722 979 761
Consolation 676 127 542 667 460 438 526 251 303 639
Final 676 127 542 722 528 315 761 438 613 578
Grand National 828 689 613 676 302 761 542 522 325 935
Grade Awards W n/a Y 528 B 315
Heritage Stock Cars 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 253 198 47 616 306 763 311 886 107 59
Heat 2 306 347 728 311 213 342 218 314 59 107
Heat 3 47 616 773 347 886 314 728 271 739 763
Final 271 763 616 47 773 347 198 342 218 886
National Micro Bangers 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Heat 1 190 133 451 74 376 209 720 45 868 nof
Heat 2 190 74 451 209 134 nof
Final 190 162 451 720 838 209 376 45 2 nof
King of Crash/DD 162
Top Entertainer 2 45 133 842
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